Monday, February 06, 2017

A New 'Day" Dawns... (12:00 PM - 1:00 PM)

For the second time since its series finale, 24 is back -- this time in the form of spin-off 24: Legacy. Kiefer Sutherland is busy presidenting on another network, so Jack Bauer will have to remain indefinitely in Russian captivity. If whispered/shouted "dammits!" is what kept you tuning in, you're out of luck. But otherwise, just about everything else about 24 seems to be back.

I'm a bit nervous right at the outset about how similar this new 24 is, how quickly it settled straight back into some of the old series' more laughable patterns. CTU is back, complete with a possible mole inside the organization. Torture is the go-to threat and Islamic villains the go-to bad guys, moral reckoning over all that be damne.

That said, there are also some reconstituted parts to this 24, and I think they hold some promise for changing up the familiar old roller coaster. Our new hero, Eric Carter, is not a CTU agent. Instead, he's pressed into the "longest day of his life" by being a target of a terrorist organization. Perhaps more interesting still would have been if he weren't an elite trained soldier like Jack Bauer, but I suppose 24 does need a protagonist who can plausibly wreck shop. Actor Corey Hawkins brings the required intensity to the role.

I'm not sure how to feel about "tried to get out, but they pull me back in" CTU director Rebecca Ingram. She's really not much of a political operator if, even knowing that her husband is trying to run for president, her quick think option is to taser a government employee. She couldn't think of any other person she could reach out to for help in her situation? The Lord of the Rings fan in me is happy to see Miranda Otto here in the mix, but her character is starting with an uphill climb.

Speaking of running for president, Jimmy Smits is now back in my life doing that, a decade or so after The West Wing. 24 is never going to be that kind of political show, of course, so we'll see how they wind up using his character. The show hasn't had a presidential candidate in the mix since season one, and then he (David Palmer) was a target.

And that might be about all I have to say about 24: Legacy for the moment. My thoughts aren't fully formed yet. That's in part because we have another installment tonight, but it's also because 24 has never been "thinking" entertainment. (I never used to do long form reviews of it; instead, just doing Dave Barry-esque hot takes because it seemed more fitting.) I'm willing to be entertained here, but I'm also needing to be sold a bit more. I guess I'd grade the premiere a B-.

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